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Financing project ensures Victorian container terminal build

Financing project ensures Victorian container terminal build

The construction of the Webb Dock development in Port Melbourne will continue, following the successful closing of a syndicated loan facility.

Firms: Allens Linklaters (Victoria International Container Terminal Ltd); (International Container Terminal Services Inc.)

Deal: An export credit agency-covered syndicated loan facility has been closed with leading global financial institutions.

Value: $398 million

Area: Finance

Key players: A team of lawyers from the Linklaters and Allens alliance advised both parties.

Allens partner James Darcy led the Australian team, with assistance from Paul Telford and Mizu Ardra.

Hong-Kong based Linklaters partner James McLaren, with support from Jessica Chilton and Will Kim, also advised on the deal.  

Deal significance:

VICT is the Australian subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI), a Philippines-based port operator.

The Linklaters and Allens alliance acted as legal advisers to Victoria International Container Terminal Ltd. (VICT) as borrower and ICTSI as sponsor for an export credit agency-covered syndicated loan facility worth AU$398 million.

According to a statement released by Allens, ICTSI was able to secure favourable terms in a difficult market, with the support of an international bank group and the notable absence of a requirement for long-term contracted revenue streams.

Construction of ICTSI’s first Australian container terminal project, the Port Melbourne Webb Dock development, will be supported by the financing. The new dock will feature a “world-leading”, fully automated unloading and stacking system. Construction of the terminal began in 2014 and will be completed in two stages, with commercial operations expected to begin in the fourth quarter of this year for the first phase and in 2017 for the second.

The $398 million project financing is comprised of seven global financial institutions: Citibank N.A., KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH and Standard Chartered Bank as Mandated Lead Arrangers and Bookrunners, Bank of China Limited, DBS Bank Ltd. and Investec Bank PLC as mandated lead arrangers, and Cathay United Bank as lead arranger.

Commenting on the deal, Mr McLaren said it “represented a joint success for both Linklaters and Allens in facilitating the financing of a high-profile infrastructure project with a strong group of international banks and Finnvera, the Finnish export credit agency”.

“In a number of ways this transaction challenged the market for Australian infrastructure project financings, including the long tenure of debt made available by the participating banks,” Mr McLaren said.

According to Mr Darcy the project was an example of complex, cross-jurisdictional work where “a global team helped achieve a great commercial outcome for the client”.

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